Welcome to The Frugal Files!!
Many people ask me why I’m an Extreme Couponer. Well, I don’t really consider myself extreme, but I coupon because I want to save my family money on food and the things we use at home. If you found a way to save money in your pockets wouldn't you keep doing it? Exactly!! One of the ways to make sure I save money is to stock those items, so my family doesn't have pay more in the long run. How, you ask? It’s easy. Have a stockpile. I know that’s pretty easy to say, but is it easy to do? Of course it is!! Here’s how:
- Investigate: Sit down with your family and write down the things that you use and eat most and how much. Brands don’t matter because with couponing, you’ll find stockpiling what’s on sale is best. Once you have your numbers, be on the cycle look out for your items. Based on your family size, ask yourself how much you want to have on hand. A good rule of thumb is to set aside about six months’ worth of food and 12-24 months’ worth of household and personal items.
- Build: Start by watching the sales and gathering your corresponding coupons for the items on your list. Choose 1-2 items weekly to stock. Sales come around in cycles, usually every 8-12 weeks, so organize your coupon binders and be ready to jump on the sale when it comes. This is the longest part of the process and can take about 3-9 months to get it where you feel it’s a comfortable stockpile. The idea is that you have enough to last you through the season or until the next sales cycle.
- Organize: Arrange your items neatly as you get them, preferably on shelves so you can see them clearly. If you have extra cabinets or shelves, great, if not, you may have to get some shelves and put them up in your basement or storage area. For those with large families wanting to create a large stockpile, consider investing in a deep freezer. You will need it (or two). Separate your sections for food, personal items, toiletries, household items, medicines and pet items. Put like items together and move those things you bought first, to the front so they get used first.
- Manage: Develop a system to keep track of what you have, whether you keep a checklist or use a dry erase board or chalkboard. The key is teaching your family to update the number when they take items out of the pantry or deep freezer. You’ll want to know everything you have at all times, which includes the quantity and their expiration dates. When your items get close to expiring and you know you’re not going to use them, consider donating to family, friends or a local pantry. You don’t want to lose your savings by letting things go to waste.
- Replenish: Even when you have a nice stockpile going and you’re able to “shop” in your own store, don’t let it die. When those sales come back around and are “stockpile prices”, jump in an grab a couple of those deals, to keep your stockpile up and running. Keep a list of stockpiling prices in your coupon binder. This way when you come across the right price, you can stock up then, saving hundreds of dollars in the long run.
What ideas do you have for stockpiling? Let’s chat!!
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